Includes Species Profile
User avatar
Posts: 3517
Joined: 23 Apr 2011, 08:48
Location: Coffs Harbour

I've had 2 interesting discussions in recent years regarding the existence of Red-faced Red-winged ones.
I had an email from Cyril Laubescher (well-known bird photographer/author) a few years ago regarding these birds. He said that whilst living in Sth Africa at the time he used to frequent a particular bird dealer who regularly received large shipments of wild-caught finches from all over Africa. In the late 1970s, he noticed in a large batch of Yellow-winged Pytilias containing a single male with red wings and the red face which he promptly purchased. He believes that this is the first such bird known to have been in captivity. He told me he mated this bird with both a yellow-winged then an Aurora hen (or vice versa) and both of these mating produced red-winged red-faced progeny. This was recounted to Derek Goodwin who made reference to it in his "Estrildid Finches of the World" classic. The male bird was an extreme rarity among vast numbers of Yellow-winged birds caught from the wild.
At the Brisbane convention this year I cornered Ernst Kruger at one stage to discuss Pytilias. He confirmed too that Red-winged birds from the wild are "less than one in a thousand Yellow-winged birds". He said that someone over there (SA) is going to have molecular tests done to make the status/relationship more certain some time in the near future.
Very notable is that the natural range of the Aurora and the Yellow-winged Pytilia intersect. Genetically, red-winged is dominant to Yellow and red-faced is dominant to not (grey). Given these modes of inheritence and extreme rarity of red-winged red-faced in the wild, I very much doubt that Australian stocks have come about by anything other than crossing of Yellow-winged Pytilia with Auroras.
Having said that, the Red-winged red-faced is a very desirable bird which breeds true to type & is worth maintaining.

Interesting. So what is very rare in the wild is the norm in captivity from selective breeding.
Post Reply

Return to “Red Headed Pytilia”